Today’s Highlight in History

On Aug. 2, 1923: The 29th president of the United States, Warren G. Harding, died in San Francisco; Vice President Calvin Coolidge became president.

On this date

In 1776: Members of the Second Continental Congress began attaching their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.

In 1873: Inventor Andrew S. Hallidie (HAH’-lih-day) successfully tested a cable car he had designed for the city of San Francisco.

In 1876: Frontiersman “Wild Bill” Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, by Jack McCall, who was later hanged.

In 1921: A jury in Chicago acquitted several former members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team and two others of conspiring to defraud the public in the notorious “Black Sox” scandal. Opera singer Enrico Caruso, 48, died in Naples, Italy.

In 1922: Alexander Graham Bell, generally regarded as the inventor of the telephone, died in Nova Scotia, Canada, at age 75.

In 1934: German President Paul von Hindenburg died, paving the way for Adolf Hitler’s complete takeover.

In 1939: Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt urging creation of an atomic weapons research program.

In 1945: President Harry S. Truman, Soviet leader Josef Stalin and Britain’s new prime minister, Clement Attlee, concluded the Potsdam conference.

In 1974: Former White House counsel John W. Dean III was sentenced to one to four years in prison for obstruction of justice in the Watergate cover-up. (Dean ended up serving four months.)

In 1980: 85 people were killed when a bomb exploded at the train station in Bologna, Italy.

In 1985: 137 people were killed when Delta Air Lines Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 Tristar, crashed while attempting to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

In 1990: Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. (The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm.)

Ten years ago: Kofi Annan resigned as peace envoy to Syria, blaming the Syrian government’s intransigence, the growing militancy of Syrian rebels and a divided U.N. Security Council that he said failed to forcefully back his effort. Gabby Douglas became the third American in a row to win gymnastics’ biggest prize when she claimed the all-around Olympic title; Michael Phelps added to his medal collection with his first individual gold medal of the London Games in the 200-meter individual medley.

Five years ago: Former Notre Dame football coach Ara Parseghian died at his home in Granger, Indiana, at the age of 94. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 22,000 for the first time, after stocks spent five months gradually moving higher.

One year ago: The U.S. finally reached President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one COVID-19 shot into 70% of American adults — a month late and amid a fierce surge by the delta variant. Louisiana reinstated a mask mandate in all indoor locations, as the state saw the highest per capita COVID-19 growth in the nation. The Biden administration expanded efforts to help at-risk Afghan citizens flee Taliban violence ahead of a U.S. military pullout at the end of the month; more Afghans would be eligible for refugee status in the United States. San Francisco’s iconic cable cars were chiming their bells and rolling again on the city’s hills after being sidelined for 16 months by the pandemic.